World March 11, 2016 | 9:54 am

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Fukushima nuclear disaster an ongoing crisis with no end in sight – Greenpeace

Tokyo, 11 March 2016. -Greenpeace today commemorates the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima nucleardisaster, renewing calls for those responsible to be held to account for theongoing crisis.

The tragic events of that day ledto the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

“There is no end in sight forcommunities in Fukushima – nearly 100,000 people haven’t returned home and manywon’t be able to. We still don’t know what exactly caused the crisis and thegovernment continues to downplay the level of radioactivity where people areeffectively being forced to move back to. It’s tragic and unacceptable,” saidJunichi Sato, Executive Director of Greenpeace Japan.

“What started as a naturaldisaster, turned into one of the worst industrial accidents in human historyand a reminder that humanity must urgently turn its efforts towards safe, cleanrenewables.”

Greenpeace Japan’s investigationsinto the marine impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident will todaycome to an end. Over the last three weeks, a radiation team on board a Japaneseresearch vessel have surveyed along an area spanning 100 kilometres off thecoastline of Fukushima. The results of the survey work and sample analysis atradiation laboratories in Japan and France will be assessed during the next twomonths and published in the coming months.

“Those responsible, in particularTEPCO and the Japanese government, must be held to account for this manmadedisaster and prioritise public safety and the environment as they struggle todeal with the ongoing crisis at the plant and in Fukushima prefecture. Today’sshutdown of the Takahama unit 3 reactor following a historic ruling by a courton 9 March is a signal that nuclear power has no future in Japan,” said ShaunBurnie, senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany.

The Greenpeace ship RainbowWarrior today commemorated the victims of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunamithat struck the Pacific Coast of Japan five years ago. Crew of the RainbowWarrior scattered flowers from the deck of the ship as it passed along theFukushima coast in memory of those who lost their lives and for those whosuffered and are still suffering from the consequences of the earthquake,tsunami and nuclear disaster.

The Fukushima disaster is thesingle largest release of radioactivity into the ocean and one of only twoLevel 7 nuclear disasters in world history – the other being Chernobyl.Evidence of the effects of radiation on the natural environment are alreadybecoming apparent, ranging from DNA-damaged wildlife, to mutations in trees.

By Tristan Tremschnig

Communications Hub Manager, Asia Pacific | Greenpeace East Asia

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